The Texas Historical Commission recognized Wilson N. Jones Hospital as a significant part of Texas history on Tuesday by awarding it an Official Texas Historical Marker. The designation honors the hospital as an important and educational part of local history.
A dedication ceremony to commemorate the event was held on Tuesday, November 28th on the Essin Medical Building grounds located on the North side of WNJ. Speakers included Dr. Peggy Redshaw, Chairman of the Grayson County Historical Marker Commission, Mike Bailey, Assistant Chief of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and Clay Jones, great, great grandson of Wilson N. Jones. The Jones’ Family was presented a key to the city by Sherman Mayor Bill Magers. A “Celebration of Life” dance, performed by Choctaw Indians, was part of the ceremony.
“The Official Texas Historical Marker program helps bring attention to community treasures and the importance of their preservations,” said Larry Oaks, executive director of the THC. “Awareness and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservations of our state’s history. This designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of important cultural resources,” Oaks said.
A subject qualifies for a marker if two basic criteria are met: historical significance and age. Historical significance is established by reviewing its role and importance in local history and the age requirement depends on the topic.
Edna Mae Bennett, a long-time member of the WNJ Auxiliary, was instrumental in securing the Historical Marker. As the third generation of her family to utilize the services of WNJ, she became interested in the history of the founder and initiated the historical marker process to ensure he was honored and recognized for his foresight and generosity.
In the early 1900’s Wilson Nathaniel Jones, a Choctaw Indian, left monies in his will for a hospital to be established in Sherman, Texas. The hospital was to bear his name and to provide care for all citizens who needed medical attention.